It is very important to know how to fill out form I-130, which is used for the request of a foreign relative in the Citizenship and Immigration Service, USCIS. It represents the first step to process and know how to get a Green Card from the spouse or any other close relative. This I-130 petition form is obtained directly from the USCIS website.
Close relatives (spouse, children or parents), are claimed through family based immigration. In migratory terms, it is a request made to obtain the permanent residence or residence card of a foreign relative. The petition of the foreign relative through Form I-130 must be submitted by a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States.
Table of Contents
How to fill out the I-130 form step by step in 2023
After downloading form I 130 for free, which is available only in English, you should carefully follow the steps below. The form can be printed and filled out by hand if you wish or you can do it directly on the computer. It is always convenient to have the advice of a good immigration lawyer to avoid errors while filling the form.
The I-130 template consists of 12 pages that are divided into nine parts. Below we explain how to fill out the I-130 form correctly and with clear instructions.
Remember that you can contact us directly and book your private consultation. Our immigration lawyers at the Los Angeles offices will be delighted to help you fill out form I-130. Lluis Llaw is a reference in immigration matters and that is why the firm has been solving all kinds of requests for more than 50 years.
Part 1. Relationship
At the beginning of Form I-130, the phrase “For USCIS Use Only” appears, which is for administrative use of USCIS. You must leave it blank.
Then comes the section: “To be completed by an attorney or accredited representative”. It means that this part can only be filled out by a lawyer if the petitioner (citizen or resident) requests the help of a professional.
Under the START HERE notice the first block of questions that must be answered by the petitioner begins. That is, who requests the foreign relative.
Question 1 You are asked who the beneficiary is (spouse, father, mother, brother or child). Just check one box.
Question 2 Here you only answer if the request is from the father, the mother or a child. Also check only one box:
- In the first box if the beneficiary is the father, mother or biological child of the petitioner within a marriage.
- In the second box, if the request is from a stepson / stepfather or stepmother.
- In the third if the beneficiary requested is the parent or a biological child had out of wedlock.
- Mark in the fourth box, if the subsidiary relationship with the beneficiary is by adoption.
Question 3 Only answer if you request a blood brother or for adoption.
Question 4 Answer yes or no if permanent residence or citizenship were obtained by adoption.
This is only the end of the first part to know how to fill out the I-130 form. It is a long process and can be complex for you. If you have questions reading the article remember that we are here to help you. If you need our support, do not hesitate to contact us. Our lawyers will assist you.
Part 2. Information about you (Petitioner)
Question 1 The applicant or petitioner must place his Foreigner Number, if he has one. The Green Cards have the indicated resident number.
Question 2 If you have an online account number with USCIS place it.
Question 3 Write the Social Security Number.
Question 4 In the Your Full Name section, answer as follows:
- 4.a. Surnames.
- 4.b. First name.
- 4.c. Middle name (if any).
Section other names used, if any
On this second page of the form, the petitioner must include the names or nicknames he has used in the past:
5.b. First name.
5.c. Middle name, if you have one.
Other Information Section
Question 6. City or town of birth.
Question 7. Country of birth.
Question 8. Date of birth. Place the month first, then the day and finally the year. Thus 12/24/1965.
Question 9. Mark the gender of the petitioner. Male or Female.
Mail Section (Mailing Address)
10.a. Name of the person receiving the mail (In Care of Name). The petitioner or someone else.
10.b. Street and number.
10.c. Apartment / floor no.
10.f. United States Postal Code.
10.g. Province (if they live outside the US).
10.h. Zip code (if they live outside the US).
10.j. Answer yes or no if the email address is the same one where the petitioner currently lives.
Address History Section
11. Respond if the current mailing address is the same as the physical address.
Subcategory Physical Address
Inform about the addresses that the petitioner has had in the last 5 years. Both in the US and in other countries.
Questions: 12a –12h. Write the current address of residence.
Question: 13.a. Write down when did you live at that address.
Subcategory Physical Address 2
Questions: 14.a – 14.h. Write the previous address (if you have had any in the last 5 years)
Questions: 15.a and 15.b. Place the start and end dates of residence at that address. Those who have lived in more places during that period, can place it at the end of form I 130, Petition for a foreign relative.
Your Marital Information Section
Question 16. Indicate the number of times the petitioner has been married.
Question 17. Answer by choosing only one of the following options:
Question 18. If the Petitioner is married, indicate the date of the current marriage.
Section: Place of Your Current Marriage, if married
19th Place or city of marriage.
19.c. Province (outside the US).
Names of All Your Spouses, if any section.
Place the name of the current spouse and those who have had before if applicable.
Spouse 1 subcategory
If you are married, put details of the current spouse or the previous spouse if you had one.
20 a. Surname (s) of the spouse (Family Name).
20.b. First Name (Given Name).
20.c. Middle Name, if you have.
Question 21. Date of termination of marriage, if applicable, in any case (divorce, annulment or widowhood).
Spouse 2 subcategory
Here you can place previous marriages, if applicable. Questions 22.a and 23 should be answered, as in the Spouse 1 subcategory.
Information about Your Parents section.
In the subcategory Parent’s 1 Information place the data of the father / mother.
24.a. Family Name (s).
24.b. Name (Given Name).
24.c. Middle Name if you have.
Question 25. Date of birth of the parent.
Question 26. Check the box Male for the father or Female for the mother.
Question 27. Country of birth of the father / mother.
Question 28. City or town of residence.
Question 29. Country of residence.
In the subcategory Parent’s 2 Information answer the questions from the 30th to the 35th in the same way as the previous one about the Progenitor 1.
Additional Information Section about the petitioner. Additional Information About You (petitioner).
Question 36. Mark a single box. Citizen (US Citizen) or Lawful permanent resident.
Those who answer that they are citizens must also answer questions from 37 to 39c. While residents should jump directly to question 40.
Question 37. Citizens should indicate how they obtained US citizenship. Either by Birth, Naturalization or by parents.
Question 38. Answer if you obtained a Certificate of Citizenship / Certificate of Naturalization. Otherwise, then dial No.
Question 39. If you answer Yes in the previous question, then check one of the following options:
39th Certificate Number.
39.b. Place where it was issued.
39.c. Date of issue.
The following questions, from 40th to 41st, should only be completed by permanent residents.
Question 40 For permanent residents only.
Question 40.a asks about the admission class, which is the category given by immigration authorities to foreigners who become residents. It is a three character code within the word Category. The code consists of one or two letters and one number.
40.b, talks about the Admission Date, which appears in the residence card after the phrase “Resident Since”.
In 40.c you are asked about the place of admission. New cards do not have this information.
In question 40.d place the state of the place of admission.
Question 41. The question here is if permanent residence was obtained by marriage with a citizen or through another resident. Mark Yes or No.
Employment History Section
Write all your workplaces for the last five years, both in the US and abroad, starting with your current employment.
Employer Subcategory 1
Question 42 Name of the employer / company. If you don’t have one, answer UNEMPLOYED.
Question 43 Questions from 43rd to 43rd are referred to the employer’s address.
Question 44 . Occupation of the petitioner.
Question 45 In question 45.a answer what was the start date in that company. At 45.b, the end date if you are currently unemployed.
Employer Subcategory 2
Answer questions 46 through 49.b only if the petitioner has had more than one employer in the last five years. If there have been more than two, you may add that information at the end of the I-130 form.
Knowing how to fill out form I-130 is not easy and do to do it correctly even less. Do not hesitate to seek for help by contacting us. Our lawyers will assist you.
Part 3. Biographic Information
Here, additional information is requested from the petitioner.
Question 1 Ethnic group. Only one box should be checked.
Question 2 Race. Choose one or more as you consider.
Question 3 Measurement (height) of the petitioner, in feet and inches.
Question 4 Weight in pounds.
Question 5 In eye color choose only one option.
Question 6 Hair color. Mark only one or “bald” if applicable.
Part 4. Information about the beneficiary
The beneficiary is the person (foreign relative) that is being requested by the petitioner.
Question 1 Alien Registration Number if you have.
Question 2 Online account number with USCIS, if you have one.
Question 3 Social Security Number, if you have one.
The beneficiary may not have any of these numbers if he has never been before to the United States.
Beneficiary’s Full Name section
Identify the beneficiary for whom the papers are being requested.
4.a. Last Name(s).
4.b. Name (Given Name).
4.c. Middle Name.
Other Names Used Section (if any).
Fill only if beneficiary has also used other names before.
5th Last Name(s).
5.b. Name (Given Name).
5.c. Middle Name.
Additional Information About Beneficiary Section
Question 6 Beneficiary’s town or city of birth.
Question 7 Country of birth.
Question 8 Date of birth.
Question 9 Gender as appropriate.
Question 10 Answer Yes or No, if a request for papers has been filed for the beneficiary, or Unknown, if the beneficiary and the petitioner do not know.
Beneficiary’s Physical Address section
Question 11 The questions from 11.a to 11.h correspond to the beneficiary’s physical address. If the address is outside the US and you reside at an address without a number or street, do not respond.
Other Address and Contact Information Section
Question 12 Write down the address where the beneficiary will reside in the United States. If it is the same as the previous addresses, place SAME.
Question 13 Fill in only if the beneficiary lives outside the United States. In the questions from 13.a to 13.f place the address where you want to receive notifications. If it is equal to the previous ones, also place SAME.
Question 14 Beneficiary phone number, if available.
Question 15 Beneficiary’s mobile phone, if you have it.
Question 16 Email, if you have one.
Beneficiary’s Marital Information section
Question 17 Answer the number of times you have been married, if applicable.
Question 18 Current marital status of the beneficiary. Mark only one option:
- Single, never married.
Question 19 Date of marriage if the beneficiary is currently married.
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Place of Beneficiary’s Current Marriage section
20 a. Place of marriage.
20.c. Province (if held outside the US).
Legal marriages abroad are valid within the US.
Names of Beneficiary’s spouses, if any, if you have.
In the Spouse 1 subcategory, place the data of the current spouse.
21.c. Middle name, if applicable
Question 22 Termination date of marriage, if applicable.
Spouse 2 subcategory.
Questions 23 and 24. Place the data of the previous spouse if he had it, in the same way as he did in questions 21.a to 22.
Information on Beneficiary’s Family section
Here all the information related to the spouse and the beneficiary’s children is requested, if applicable. If you don’t have them, skip this section.
In the sub-category “Person 1” you must answer the following information:
25.c. Middle Name, if you have it.
Question 26 Relationship. This question refers to the family bond between the beneficiary and that relative. In other words, spouse or child.
Question 27 Date of birth.
Question 28 Country of birth.
Questions from 29 to 44. This includes other relatives of the beneficiary as a spouse or children. Person 2 (from question 29. to 32); Person 3 (from 33 to 36); Person 4 (from 37th to 40th) and Person 5 (from 41st to 44th).
These questions are structured just like those in subcategory 1.
Beneficiary’s Entry Information section
Question 45 Ask if the beneficiary has ever been to the United States.
Question 46 . Only answer if the beneficiary is currently in the US.
Question 46.a. Place here the kind of admission or type of visa used to enter the United States for the last time. This information is available on the visa or in document I-94.
Question 46.b. Document No. I-94, whose form can be downloaded here.
Question 46.c. date of arrival in the United States.
Question 46.d. Expiration date of the authorization to stay in the US, not expiration of the visa.
Question 47. Passport number of the beneficiary.
Question 49. Country where the beneficiary’s passport / travel document was issued.
Question 50 Passport expiration date / travel document.
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Beneficiary’s Employment Information Section
51st Place the name of the employer / company where the beneficiary works. If you work on your own place SELF-EMPLOYED or if you are unemployed write UNEMPLOYED and leave the other questions blank. The same if you are a student (STUDENT), disabled (DISABLED) or in charge of home care (STAY-AT-HOME PARENT).
51.b. – 51.i. This question refers to the address of the company for which the beneficiary works.
If you are already working in the United States without documents, it is best to consult with a good immigration lawyer before sending the form. If you are undocumented or have any questions related to filling out Form I-130, Lluis Law expert immigration attorneys can help you with anything you need.
Question 52. Start date of current employment.
Additional information about the beneficiary
Question 53. The question here is if the beneficiary has ever been in an immigration process. That is, if you have had a legal procedure before the immigration court. If yes, it is advisable to contact an immigration lawyer.
Answer questions 54, 55 and 56, only if you answered Yes in the previous question.
Question 54 Type of beneficiary’s immigration procedure. If the beneficiary was banned from entering the US after April 1997, mark Removal. Likewise, if there was a case of express deportation, deportation ordered by a judge or for having illegally crossed the border and then being arrested and expelled.
If the case took place before April 1997, also check Exclusion / Deportation.
If you had a permanent residence card and an immigration judge ordered the cancellation you must mark Rescission.
In all other cases, mark Other Judicial Proceedings.
55th Place where the procedure was performed in the immigration court.
Question 56 . Date of the procedure.
Questions 57 and 58 . Only for non-Latin aliens (Chinese, Russian or Arab).
Questions 59 and 60. Respond only if the spouse is being asked with this Form I-130. These are questions related to the last domicile of the marriage, indicating the dates of beginning and end of living in that direction, if applicable.
In case the marriage has never lived under the same roof, it must be answered in question 59.a: “Never life together” and leave the others blank.
Question 61 . Only respond if the beneficiary is already in the United States and meets the application requirements to apply for the adjustment of status and thus to obtain permanent Residence in the United States.
61.a. City where the USCIS office is located, through which the adjustment of status will be requested.
62.b. The state where the office is.
Question 62 Only check if the beneficiary will process the residence card through a consular procedure.
62.a. City where consulate / embassy is located.
A consular office must be chosen in the same country of habitual residence of the beneficiary.
Part 5. Other information
The questions in this section are related to the petitioner.
Question 1 You are asked if you have previously sponsored this same person or someone else. If the answer is negative, you should go directly to question 6.a.
Question 2 If the answer above is yes, answer this question.
2nd Surname (s) of the family member previously sponsored.
2 C. Middle name, if you have.
3.a. City in which the request was made.
Question 4 Date of submission of the petition.
Question 5 Result of the request, respond as appropriate:
- Pending (not resolved yet).
- Withdrawn (if the petitioner withdrew it).
- Denied (rejected).
Questions 6, 7, 8 and 9 . Only respond if the petitioner submits multiple family requests. If not then jump straight to Part 6.
Family Subcategory 1 (Relative 1)
6.a. Last name (s) of the other family member you are sponsoring.
6c. Middle name, if you have.
7 : Type of relationship. Specify which:
If there are more family requests, respond under the Family 2 sub-category (Relative 2). USCIS searches with these questions to know if there is more than one family member’s request. If so, then process them all simultaneously, if they are within the same category.
Part 6. Petitioner’s Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature
Questions 1 and 2 . Check one of the following three options:
1st If the petitioner can read and has understood all the questions and answers, as well as the instructions contained in the Form.
1 B. If the Form has been answered by an interpreter already identified in Part 7 and who must also sign Form I-130. The language for which the document has been translated must be indicated: (SPANISH, FRENCH, etc.).
2. Respond only if the Form has been filled out by a repairman (identified in Part 8) based on the answers given by the petitioner.
Petitioner’s Contact Information Section
Question 3 Petitioner’s Phone Number.
Question 4 Cell phone number, if you have.
Question 5 Email address if you have.
Petitioner’s Declaration and Certification Section
In this part, the petitioner ensures that each of the documents he is sending along with the I-130 form are faithful copies of the original documents, which contain no type of alteration. The petitioner acknowledges that USCIS may, at any time, ask you to show the originals.
The petitioner also authorizes USCIS to collect information related to everything stated on the form, as well as in the supporting documents, in the agency records and in any other entity.
The petitioner also declares that he understands that his biometric data may be requested and, if necessary, may sign an oath of reaffirmation in which he states that:
- You personally supplied, sent or authorized to send such information on your behalf.
- He reviewed the petition in its entirety and fully understood.
- All the information contained in the form is true, complete and correct.
In addition, the petitioner certifies, under penalty of perjury, that all the information in the petition and in the supporting documentation was provided or authorized by the petitioner himself and that he has reviewed and understood any petition and that all the information in it is complete , true and correct.
Petitioner’s Signature Section
6.a. The petition must be signed by hand and in ink by the petitioner.
6.b. Date of signature of the petition.
Section Part.7 Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature
Questions 1 to 6. Answer if the petitioner used the services of an interpreter, specifying the second language they speak in addition to English.
7.a. Interpreter Signature.
7.b. Signature Date.
Part 8. Contact Information, declaration and signature of the Person Preparing this Petition, if Other Than the Petitioner.
If you are using the services of a lawyer, a non-profit organization, or any other accredited person to complete the I-130 form, you must fill out Part 8 of the document and enter date and signature.
Part 9. Additional Information
In this part, as the name implies, you can include any other information that could not be placed in the previous questions. If you need more space, you can photocopy this page (12) and identify it with:
- Petitioner’s Name and Alien Registration Number (if any).
- Indicate the page number of the form, the part number (Part Number) and also the number of the question (Item Number) that is being answered.
All additional sheets must be signed and dated.
Why is getting help from an Immigration lawyer important?
It is very important to have the advice of a good immigration lawyer to guide you to know how to fill out the I-130 form. The lawyer can answer your questions about its correct filling. Particularly useful when the applicant has had problems with the law (deportations, criminal convictions, etc.) or they have already rejected a petition.
The experienced and certified immigration lawyer guarantees that Form I-130 will be filled out correctly. He will offer help to fill out the I-130 form and file it with USCIS.
In addition, if there is a problem with the process he will indicate what your options are. An issue as important as this cannot be improvised.
Where to send form I-130
If the applicant lives in California, they must send it to the Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) by regular mail or by courier with the following address:
USCIS Safe Location (Lockbox) in Phoenix:
For Postal Mail Service (USPS):
PO Box 21700
Phoenix, AZ 85036
For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Phoenix, AZ 85034.
If you live outside the United States, you must send Form I-130 to:
USCIS Safe Location (Lockbox) in Dallas
For Postal Mail Service (USPS):
PO Box 650264
Dallas, TX 75265
For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
2501 S. State Hwy, 121 Business
Lewisville, TX 75067
If you are going to file Form I-130 along with Form I-485, and you are living in the United States, you must send it to:
USCIS Safe Location (Lockbox) in Chicago
For Postal Service (USPS):
PO Box 805887
Chicago, IL 60680-4120
For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
131 South Dearborn, 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517.
Many people wonder where can I check the status of my I 130 case? To follow up on your case, you can include form G-1145 . After the document has been sent, the petitioner will receive the NOA1 (or I-797) notice sent by USCIS to inform that the documentation has been received. This happens in a period of one or two weeks.
Before submitting the form you should verify very well that all the documents that accompany the application are in order and follow the instructions on the form.
Remember that all documents must be certified and translated into English by an interpreter. The applicant must keep a copy of Form I-130. This will help you answer other forms that you must fill out later. For example, Form DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Foreigner Registration.
What is the cost of Form I-130?
The submission of Form I-130, Petition of a Foreign Relative, has a fee of $ 420, no fees are charged for biometric data. Although they could be requested by USCIS.
How long does the processing of Form I-130 take?
For the processing and approval of the I-130 Immigration Form, the estimated time for the spouse of a US citizen is five months. While the waiting period for the spouse of a permanent resident is usually much longer.
These are just some of the frequently asked questions on how to fill out form I-130. If you have further questions, you can consult directly with the Lluis Law immigration lawyers and book your case review consultation. Our lawyers will assist you.
Requirements to fill out form I-130
The following documents must accompany Form I-130 requesting a foreign relative to obtain a residence card through marriage:
- Proof that the Petitioner or Sponsor is a US citizen, by copy of the birth certificate, or the naturalization certificate or valid US passport. If you are a permanent resident, submit a copy of the residence card.
- Proof of legal and valid marriage (Marriage Certificate).
- Proof that the marriage is not the product of fraud. For example, a lease, joint bank account statements, photographs of the couple etc.
- Proof of previous marriage (divorce document) in case either spouse has been married before.
- Legal proof for name change of any of the spouses, if applicable.
- Proof of the nationality of the relative being requested (copy of birth certificate, passport).
The documents that are attached for the request of a foreign relative by marriage are the same as those included to request the residence card (Green Card) by marriage. That is to say:
- Birth certificate;
- Marriage certificate;
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residence of the sponsor;
- Financial documents that prove the financial capacity of the Petitioner;
- Proof of legal admission to the US, if applicable.
- Criminal record certificate, if applicable for the case.
- Police, judicial and prison records, if applicable.
- Divorce documents, if there are previous marriages.
- Military records (if any).
After I-130 is approved, what follows?
After knowing how to fill out form I-130 and that it is approved by USCIS (as well as Form I-140), it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) of the State Department where it is pre-processed. This process can take a year, so the NVC begins what USCIS called “the pre-processing of the immigrant visa”, which includes:
- a) The collection of visa fees;
- b) The collection of forms and other documents of the sponsors of the foreign relative and of the immigrant visa applicants.
However, because the number of visas is limited for some categories, after USCIS approves the petition, you must wait until a visa number is available for the country of the foreign relative. The availability of the number of immigrant visas for certain categories will depend on the date of the application. That will be the priority date of the applicant.
The steps for both the requests of foreign relatives and foreign workers, vary according to the category of the immigrant:
|Petition filed on behalf of the Beneficiary by:||So:|
|Spouse of a US citizen.||The number is not limited. Next: Start NVC Processing.|
|Unmarried child under 21 of a U.S. citizen.|
|Father of a US citizen who is 21 years of age or older.|
|Adult children of US citizens.||The number is limited every year. Next: Check Priority Dates.|
|Brothers (s) of US adult citizens.|
|Spouses and children of permanent legal residents.|
For more information about how to fill out the I-130 form, or about any other immigration related matter for you or a family member, Lluis Law immigration attorneys are at your disposal. They will help you clear all your doubts. We have experience in representing immigrants in the Los Angeles area.